Today on The Kona Edge we catch up with Tripp Hipple who chats about his Ironman run and why he loves it so much.  Tripp shares his run secrets with us and it is noT all about running fast or hard all the time.


BRAD BROWN:  Welcome back to yet another edition of The Kona Edge and Tripp Hipple joins us once again, we head to Denver in Colorado. Tripp welcome, thanks for joining us today.

TRIPP HIPPLE:  Yeah, this is great, thank you.

BRAD BROWN:  Tripp, let’s talk about your run. One thing you mentioned just in passing the first time we spoke was the tax, the toll that running takes on your body and being able to factor that into your training and not overdo things so that you almost live to fight another day.

That’s a big part of your training, is making sure that you are recovering properly and keeping your body in as good a shape, physically, from an injury and injury prevention perspective, so that you can keep building on the gains you’re making.

Take the Ironman easy runs seriously to gain the benefits

TRIPP HIPPLE:  Yeah, that’s right. My coach Jesse and I, with basically all of his athletes that he coaches, we have very easy running days throughout the week. It’s not for all of his athletes, some of them have different time constraints, and everyone’s paces are different. Like I said, we run by heart rate.

On those easy days I’m doing 9-10 minute miles at very low heart rate and the reason behind that is A, it just feels good to move and those easy days typically come after hard days or a race. It’s just to get the muscles moving around, to get the blood flowing, to bring the nutrients back into the muscles, through the blood. And running a very easy pace is the way to do that because you’re not gaining fitness. It’s not about running fast or running hard. It’s all about a therapeutic type response that you can provide yourself by running very easy. That and the long run, I take those very seriously because they do help, to have those recovery runs.

BRAD BROWN:  It’s so interesting you say that, we had a session in a recent online summit that we did here at The Kona Edge and that was one of the sessions. We spoke to a guy by the name of Lindsey Parry who is the High Performance Coach for Triathlon South Africa.

He was part of the coaching team that was in Rio where we won the bronze as South Africa and one of the things that he was saying is that most people do their hard sessions too easy. But their easy sessions too hard. And particularly the easy ones, that’s where the problem starts coming in, where you start doing those things way too hard.

TRIPP HIPPLE:  Yeah, I don’t know why it’s a trap to fall into and it’s funny because most people, I think just naturally we fall into that. I guess grey area which most people call it. But especially a heart rate or intensity that you’re not getting a benefit from it, but you’re damaging the recovery process to a certain extent.

Lose the ego and have no regrets in your Ironman run

I just think some of it is ego as well. For me, I know myself that I want to prove myself and I need to run this certain pace. But it’s so much better to be able to run very slowly, even bike slowly, swim slowly, on those easy days. And then on those hard days, you have no regret or no fatigue left over from a run or a session you did a little bit too hard. It’s always better to undercook it than to overcook it every time.

BRAD BROWN:  Absolutely. Tripp, as far as the run goes, is there one thing that you’ve done in your triathlon career that you feel has given you the most bang for your buck so to speak, that has improved your run the most?

TRIPP HIPPLE:  I would say biking a lot. Becoming a better cyclist has definitely aided in better running. It’s not that cycling makes me a faster runner, and obviously a different sport. However, the energy I can save now from being more bike fit has translated over to running better. I’m able to keep heart rate lower and run more comfortably at a faster pace. But basically just doing running blocks where my coach has me focus more on the run itself, take away time from the other two disciplines to focus on the run, has definitely paid out and I just think that takes time.

To learn how to become an efficient runner, how to hold the arms, how to stride correctly, how to breathe, how to keep your head upright. There’s a lot to the run, but it’s becoming more and more natural and I love running in itself because it’s so simple and basic to do.

BRAD BROWN:  Absolutely and if you can love it, that’s half the battle won. Favourite run workout, what do you love doing?

TRIPP HIPPLE:  I’m a sucker for long runs and I love, right now I’ve been doing two hour runs and towards the end I’ll pick up the pace a little bit. Pick up the heart rate to a certain zone and just try and hold that for the last 30-40 minutes of the run. But I also love speed work or tempo runs.

Staple one in my running week to week is 2 x 20 minute at my zone two heart rate. And it’s just that is really how I would race an Ironman at that intensity and it’s very helpful, just like the bike. It helps focus my mind on what it feels like to be running that pace, how to eat or drink during that window and how to recover from that. Speed work and long runs are my favourite.

BRAD BROWN:  You talk about eating and drinking, we’re going to chat about nutrition the next time we touch base, but we’ll save that for another day. Tripp, thank you so much for joining us today.

TRIPP HIPPLE:  Thank you.

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